Health effects of viewing landscapes – Landscape types in environmental psychology

Health effects of viewing landscapes – Landscape types in environmental psychology,10.1016/j.ufug.2007.07.001,Urban Forestry & Urban Greening,M Velard

Health effects of viewing landscapes – Landscape types in environmental psychology   (Citations: 23)
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The visible landscape is believed to affect human beings in many ways, including aesthetic appreciation and health and well-being. The aim of this paper is to analyse the range of landscapes used in environmental psychology studies, and the evidence of health effects related to viewing these landscapes. A literature review of publications linking landscapes and health effects was conducted. This reported evidence of health and well-being effects related to exposure to visual landscapes. The results of the review include an overview of the types of landscape used in the studies, the evidence on health effects, the methods and measures applied and the different groups of respondents. The analysis reveals a predominance of studies using only coarse categories of landscapes. Most landscape representations have been classed as “natural” or “urban”. Few studies were found to use subcategories within these groups. Generally, the natural landscapes gave a stronger positive health effect compared to urban landscapes. Urban landscapes were found to have a less positive and in some cases negative effect on health. Three main kinds of health effects have been identified in the study; short-term recovery from stress or mental fatigue, faster physical recovery from illness and long-term overall improvement on people's health and well-being.The study provides an overview of the relationships between health and landscapes arranged in an accessible format, identifying gaps in our knowledge requiring further research. The identification of quantifiable landscape attributes that affect health is seen as an important factor in enabling future landscape design to be of benefit to human health.
Journal: Urban Forestry & Urban Greening - URBAN FOR URBAN GREEN , vol. 6, no. 4, pp. 199-212, 2007
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